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Published on July 17th, 2012 | by Nathaniel

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Season of Singleness

It’s July (officially wedding season) and you see the Facebook pictures of ____who is now married, ____ who is now engaged, and _____ who just celebrated a 2.75 month anniversary…And you ask, “why am I in this state of singleness?” You decide to take to Twitter and rant- “I don’t need a woman/ man”, “I fly better solo”, or “Jesus is my boyfriend”…Ladies, Jesus is not your boyfriend– nowhere in the bible does it state that Jesus will be your temporary BF. That would make things awkward because we are brothers and sisters of Christ. And wouldn’t that be a messy a breakup??? …Just saying.

Mom and dad are cracking on you- “What happened to that girl/ guy you were dating?” “When are you going to get married?” “___, you’re not getting any younger.” So you’ve been fasting, you’ve been praying to God for him/her, or you’ve been crying hysterically over a James Sparks novel. Maybe you’re entering a state of depression because you think you’re doing something wrong- not attractive enough, not charming enough, not smart enough? Those are lies! The purpose of this conversation is to break down both perspectives and conclude with how Paul says you can be encouraged in your singleness.

 

To the Men and the Women Who Want Em:

I’m going to get a little personal with you- I’ve been single for some time- some dates here and there but nothing serious (…sorry I never called). I’ve had some moments when I felt I should be in a relationship, should be out prowling, and should be playing the field. But I recognize that in order to prepare myself for the woman that I believe God has promised me- I need to mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare myself. But I also need to enjoy the freedom that comes with being single. The most difficult part is understanding that the preparation is a constant and that the freedom comes with stipulations. I have to remind myself that I’m free in Christ, not free in the world. And let’s face it- what man is  “really” ever ready for marriage? What man will “really” ever understand his wife? Work in progress brothas…Women are complicated.

As men of the Christian faith- we’ve been called to love our wives like Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). But what does that mean if you don’t have a wife? The message the world sends out is that it’s  “authentically male” to play the game- lust after, hook up, and have sex with any girl. Then right before you’re about to strike out…you retire and become “Husband of the Year”.  But the reality is that it doesn’t work like that. You go into marriage with the same mindset you had before marriage and if that mindset is “Get-my-needs-met-by-any-means-necessary,” you’re just setting yourself up for failure.

 

To the Women and Men Who Want Em:

I’ve known some beautiful girls- the kind who wear miniskirts to church and flaunt themselves to get the attention they think they deserve because of a “God-blessed-me-with-this” kind of attitude. And they wonder why they keep attracting the men that either take advantage of them or treat them like trash. Then they take to Facebook to publically declare- “He wasn’t worth it” or “He just wanted the cookie” or “I’m becoming whole again”. Or on the other side of the spectrum- I’ve met girls who are so religious in what they think is Christianity- that they think just being a Christian woman entitles them to a Christian man- so they choose to neglect their appearance. Ladies, Christian men have eyes too.

As women of the Christian faith- you’ve been called to submit to your husbands (Ephesians 5:22). If you’re single, how do you prepare yourself to submit? Let’s be honest, the 21st century-independent-pay-my-bills (on-time) woman is stifled by this message. How can you still be a strong woman but one who lives by an attitude of submission and virtue (Proverbs 31)? Is a Christian man really expecting you to be his rag doll? Answer: NO! I want my wife to be a strong-willed, decisive, “don’t-have-to-call-and-check-in-just-because-she’s-insecure-wife”. But what we are expecting is that our wife has entrusted us with the depths of her heart and body. And because of that- she has the faith that her man will love her and respect her like Christ loved the church. So in your quest for Mr. Right- you need to look for the Christ-like qualities that would allow you to trust him and submit.

 

What Does Paul Say?

The Apostle Paul contradicts the message of the world that suggests singleness is a curse from the depths of the unknown. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 Paul says “In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man can’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married is more devoted to the Lord in body and spirit while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.” You rarely hear that your singleness has purpose. Marriage is work and Paul is telling us that in our time of singleness our work and attention can be focused on serving God. Whether you are seasonally single or single for a lifetime (it’s not a death sentence), you are not alone. God is waiting on you to use your situation to glorify His name.

 

-Nathaniel

(C.F.E of Being Encouraged)

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